Somewhere in the midst of the seemingly never-ending to-do list is "create an event website." With so many elements to get right (to avoid a dreaded event disaster), your site might not seem like the highest priority, but consider the facts.

A 2011 study found that a website has 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) to convince visitors to stay –– otherwise, they'll leave. Google confirmed the findings a year later and found that, in some cases, visitors formed an opinion within 17 milliseconds. For context, the blink of an eye is 400 milliseconds.

Long story short, when it comes to your event website, first impressions matter –– big time.

Follow these guidelines to make sure otherwise loyal attendees don't second guess attending your event the millisecond they see your site.

3 critical components to making a good first impression

The moment a potential attendee lands on your event website, the clock starts ticking on their decision-making process. They subconsciously begin evaluating. If you want to guarantee they’ll stay to learn more, your site needs to get three things right:

  1. Logo and branding: If your event website is missing logo and branding elements, visitors are likely to think they landed on the wrong site. Make sure potential attendees know they’ve come to the right place by putting your logo –– and other identifiable branding elements –– front and center. 
  2. Photography: The images on your site shouldn’t be an afterthought. They’re the first thing visitors use to answer the ultimate question: Is this event for me? Make sure your imagery faithfully demonstrates an experience worth anticipating –– and helps your audience see themselves at the event.
  3. Headings: Whether it’s their first visit or their tenth, people tend to skim webpages for information and your headings are the guideposts that help them find exactly what they’re looking for. Make sure your headings are clear and concise but informative.

4 biggest factors in the attendee decision-making process

Once you’ve piqued the interest of a potential attendee, their decision-making process is more deliberate. Will they be able to attend your event or do they have prior engagements? If they’re available, how does your event experience compare to alternatives?

Here are four key factors that influence their decision:

  1. Location, date, and time: Obvious as it may seem, this information is often neglected. Don’t bury it or, worse, forget it. 
  2. Description and agenda: Images help potential attendees understand your event and determine whether it’s interesting to them. But the actual words used to describe the event help ensure nothing is lost in translation. 
  3. Social proof: Ever read the reviews before making a purchase online? Your attendees do, too. Make sure to include testimonials from past attendees, tout your NPS score, and showcase the sponsors who’ve partnered with you.  
  4. Ticket or registration price: After confirming your event is worth their time, a potential attendee has to decide if it’s affordable. Deliver clear pricing so they can make an informed decision. 

Don’t just create an event website. Create an experience. 

You can hire an agency or independent designer to build your event website. Or you can make sure nothing about your event gets lost in translation by building your own with Hopin Canvas

Canvas is a no-code website builder with a drag-and-drop editor that lets you create stunning event pages in minutes. Pick from several professionally designed templates to save you time, update the agenda or add a speaker on the fly, and make a major sponsor’s logo bigger without needing to be invoiced for the billable hours. 

See for yourself how quick and easy it is to create a stunning, custom website for your next event.